World No 1, streak, Ukraine, hand-wave, Poland: Everything you always wanted to know about Iga Swiatek (but never had time to find out) – updated after 2023 WTA Finals title
Roland-Garros champion Iga Swiatek is the first Pole and 28th woman to top the world rankings. Here are some facts about the leader of women’s tennis
Who is Iga Swiatek?
Iga Swiatek is a professional tennis player from Poland. She is the WTA Tour world No 1, as of November 7, 2023.
She won her fourth Grand Slam title at the 2023 Roland-Garros, beating Karolina Muchova 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in the final and in November, 2023, she won the WTA Finals for the first time to regain the No 1 spot from Aryna Sabalenka.
In 2022, she enjoyed a sensational winning streak (find out more about that later) and also raised money for charities with an exhibition tennis match. She has spoken at length about the emotional impact it has had on her to see war ravage neighbouring Ukraine.
What did Iga Swiatek do at the WTA Finals in 2023?
Iga Swiatek won the WTA Finals for the first time in her career in 2023, beating Jessiva Pegula in the final, 6-1, 6-0. The Pole dropped only 20 games all week, the fewest games lost by any champion in the history of the event.
The victory also ensured Swiatek regained the world No 1 ranking, having lost it to Aryna Sabalenka earlier in 2023. “To return to world No 1 is a dream come true,” she said. “I’d say I wasn’t expecting that this season.”
How many Grand Slams has Iga Swiatek won?
Iga Swiatek has won four Grand Slams, most recently the 2023 French Open.
In 2022, following her shock 2020 triumph, she won Roland-Garros for the second time, beating the USA’s Coco Gauff in the final 6-1, 6-3 in 68 minutes. Over the course of the fortnight, she dropped one single set – in the fourth round, to Qinwen Zheng.
She defended her title in 2023, and once again dropped a single set over the course of the fortnight – this time in the final, to Muchova.
Why did Iga Swiatek wave her hand during the San Diego final?
During the San Diego final in October 2022 against Donna Vekic, Swiatek waved her hands at the net during as Vekic was about to hit a shot. The Pole was heavily criticised for the same and tennis fans online were quick to point out that this was not the first time that Swiatek had done the same.
Swiatek did apologise to Vekic on social media after the match and spoke about the incident later in an interview to Polish media.
“I can’t control it, but I hope it will never happen again. We are working on it,” Swiatek said. “It is a stress reaction to what is happening. It is an involuntary reaction. I did it during the US Open, and as I recall it was a stressful moment. In San Diego, I did it unconsciously. Right after the game I approached Donna and apologised. She had no hard feelings, it turned out she didn’t recall this at all. I hope fans will understand me as well. I’m aware of the many negative comments on the internet concerning this incident. I’m not proud of the fact, that sometimes I’m not in control of what I do on the court. It’s a purely instinctual behaviour. Maybe I’ve seen one too many football games, and taken notice of what goalies do during penalty shots (laughs).”
How many titles has Iga Swiatek won?
Iga Swiatek has won 17 titles, as of November 7, 2023. Her win at Roland-Garros in 2020 was her first title and she won eight titles in 2022 alone. Her latest title came at the WTA Finals, where she beat Jessica Pegula 6-1, 6-0 in the final.
What is Iga Swiatek’s highest ranking?
Iga Swiatek became the new world No 1 in women’s tennis on May 4, 2022. The 20-year-old became the 28th woman to hold the No 1 ranking, as well as the first Polish woman ever to hold the ranking.
Swiatek achieved the milestone by beating Viktorija Golubic to reach the third round of the 2022 Miami Open, a tournament she would later win, securing the prestigious sunshine double of Indian Wells and Miami titles.
“I feel like I’m a different player right now,” she said in Rome, where she won the title for the second year in a row to collect her fifth trophy of 2022.
“Last year I feel like I still was trying to find some kind of, I don’t know, consistency in the wins that I had, and also like confirmation that Roland Garros wasn’t just like a one tournament. I feel like I found that and I feel like I can kind of move forward and just focus on my next goals. For sure the tournaments that I played this year, they have shown me that I can play better tennis on hard courts.”
What did Iga Swiatek achieve in Miami in 2022?
The Polish star became the youngest woman to ever win the prestigious “Sunshine Double” at the Miami Open in 2022, adding the title to the one she won in Indian Wells. Swiatek joins Steffi Graf, Kim Clijsters and Victoria Azarenka on the prestigious list. She defeated Naomi Osaka in the final, 6-4, 6-0, and dropped only 26 games in her six matches in Miami – the lowest total dropped since Martina Hingis won the title by dropping just 21 games in 2001.
What is Swiatek’s longest winning streak?
The Pole strung together an amazing 37-match winning streak in 2022, adding the Rome title to the ones she won in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, and Stuttgart (along with two wins in the Billie Jean King Cup) – plus of course the French Open crown. Her streak is the longest on the WTA Tour this millennium.
It came to an end at Wimbledon, at the hands of France’s Alize Cornet.
What are the biggest moments of Iga Swiatek’s career?
Iga Swiatek won the first professional tournament she attended, in Stockholm in 2016. But, until Roland-Garros 2020, she had not won a WTA Tour-level title. She was also a prolific junior, winning the girls’ doubles title at Roland Garros, and then the singles title at Wimbledon in 2018. That same year, the Pole also won the gold medal in doubles at the youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, in the company of Kaja Juvan.
In Paris in 2020, she became a Grand Slam champion for the first time, beating world No 1 Simona Halep in the fourth round and Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in the final to take the Roland-Garros title in one of the biggest surprises in recent history.
In February 2021 Swiatek captured her very first hard court title at the Adelaide Open, defeating Belinda Bencic, in the final 6-2, 6-2. She won a big title in Rome the same year. Additionally, in February 22, she won her fourth career title when she triumphed in Doha.
In 2022, she won consecutive WTA 1000 titles in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart, and Rome. Today, she is the undisputed leader on the women’s tour.
In 2023, Iga Swiatek recorded her best-ever finish at Wimbledon, reaching the quarter-finals for the first time. With grass being her least natural surface, Swiatek had never been past the fourth round before. She was eventually beaten by Elina Svitolina in that last eight match.
Swiatek then ended the year by demolishing Jessica Pegula to win the WTA Finals for the first time, ensuring she finished 2023 as the world No 1.
Where and when was Iga Swiatek born?
Iga Swiatek was born on May 31, 2001 in Warsaw. She still lives not far from the Polish capital, in the small town of Raszyn.
Iga’s father, Tomasz Swiatek, rowed at a high level and even competed in the Seoul Olympics (1988) in the four-scull category. Iga also has an older sister, Agata, who is three years her senior.
How tall is Iga Swiatek?
Iga is 1.76m (5ft 9in), according to her profile on the WTA Tour website.
How is Iga Swiatek’s name pronounced?
Please note, a little subtlety: with the specific characters of the Polish alphabet, the name of the 19-year-old is written Świątek. The “Ś” is pronounced “ch” and the “ą” corresponds to the sound “on”. Therefore, we must say “Shviontek”.
Why did she start playing tennis?
To imitate her big sister … and also to try to beat her. Agata briefly played on the ITF junior circuit at the age of 15, before hanging up the racquet due to recurring injuries.
Who is Iga Swiatek’s coach?
Iga Swiatek worked with her compatriot Piotr Sierzputowski from 2016 to December 2021, when she announced the end of their collaboration on Twitter. She is now coached by Tomasz Wiktorowski.
She also works with Daria Abramowicz, a sports psychologist who allows her to progress her mental side. Swiatek hailed the influence of Abramowicz after her stunning run to the title at Roland-Garros.
How much are her tournament earnings since the start of her career?
According to the official WTA website, Iga Swiatek has won $24.6 million in prize money, as of November 7, 2023.
What kind of music does Iga Swiatek listen to?
Iga Swiatek is a big fan of rock, and in particular of the American group Guns N’Roses. She also listens to songs from even more “old school” bands, such as AC / DC or Pink Floyd. More recently, she has been listening to and learning about jazz.
Who is Iga Swiatek’s current partner?
There is currently no public information available on Iga Swiatek’s relationship status. The 22-year-old has not posted any relationship updates on social media, and has not been seen in public with a partner.